Resveratrol and Swine Flu

This article came my way recently – Chemical In Grapes Inhibits Flu Virus

Research touting the benefits of resveratrol is rather compelling.

I certainly can’t claim that resveratrol will kick swine flu, yet the details of this article are very interesting. 

What if we took on the idea and action of prevention, like taking supplements including a quality resveratrol product ?

Perhaps one might be protected from things like swine flu. 

Our immune systems know what to do!

May 31, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Resveratrol, a chemical found in grapes and other fruits, inhibits the reproduction of influenza viruses in cell culture and mice, according to a recent report in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Rather than directly attacking the flu virus itself, resveratrol seems to block host-cell functions that are essential for viral replication, says the report by Anna T. Palamara and colleagues at the University of Rome. 

They write that the substance holds promise as a possible weapon against flu.  

Resveratrol is an antioxidant that is found in at least 72 plant species and is known to help protect the heart and nervous system and help prevent cancer, says the report. The researchers did a series of experiments in which they exposed cells to a flu virus and added resveratrol an hour later. They also exposed groups of mice to the virus and treated them with resveratrol or a placebo.  

In an initial cell-culture experiment, treatment with resveratrol at 20 mcg/mL reduced flu virus replication 90%, and treatment with 40 mcg/mL blocked replication completely. However, because the higher concentration damaged the cells, the lower concentration was used in further tests.

The researchers also tested the effects of starting resveratrol treatment at different intervals after infecting cells with the virus.  

Treatment was most effective—reducing viral growth 87.5%—when treatment began 3 hours after virus exposure. Effects were lower but still significant when treatment began 6 hours after infection, and treatment had no significant benefit if delayed until 9 hours after infection.

Given these and other findings, the researchers concluded that resveratrol interferes with the manufacture of proteins made late in the viral replication process, such as hemagglutinin, and limits the transport of viral ribonucleoproteins from the cell nucleus to the cytoplasm. The authors also determined that the molecular mechanism for resveratrol’s effects has to do with the inhibition of protein kinase C activity and its dependent pathways.  

In the tests on mice, the researchers found that resveratrol treatment increased survival by 40% in treated mice, compared with mice that received a placebo. The level of virus found in the lungs 6 days after infection was 98% lower in treated mice than in the placebo group.  

“We have shown that RV [resveratrol], a natural polyphenol whose concentration in red wine is 1.5-3.0 mg/L, can inhibit the in vitro and in vivo replication of influenza A virus without producing any significant toxicity,” the article states.  

The apparent ability of resveratrol to block host-cell functions that flu viruses rely on offers important advantages, the researchers say. Compared with existing anti-flu drugs, resveratrol would be less likely to induce resistance by flu viruses, and it would probably be effective for all types and strains of flu virus.

“For these reasons, RV merits further investigation as a potential weapon for combating the growing threat of influenza,” the authors conclude. 

Palamara AT, Nencioni L, Aquilano K, et al. Inhibition of influenza A virus replication by resveratrol. J Infect Dis 2005 May 15;191(10):1719-29 [Abstract]

Other thoughts about Resveratrol:

The Power of Polyphenols according to Dr. Oz

Research and Resveratrol

A superb source of resveratrol

Quality Vitis Rotundifolia

What is Resveratrol?

What is Orac? Compare resveratrol products

the best resveratrol grape – the muscadine flickr image

Karen Hanrahan ~ Wellness Educator/Nutritional Consultant/Blog Author 
Nutrition Weight Loss, and Green Clean


This entry was posted in Nutrition. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Resveratrol and Swine Flu

  1. susan says:

    How long do you think it will take them to complete the scientific study on longterm use of resveratrol to prove whether or not it has anti aging benefits? I am asking since it was recently found and some studies could take up to 10 years or so?

  2. Karen Hanrahan says:

    I’m not sure Susan. 

  3. Anita says:

    When I visted my neighborhood walk-in clinic yesterday, I was miserable. I found out that I had the flu, even though I had both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 shots in the fall of 2009. My symptoms included sore throat, fever, coughing, sneezing, pounding headache, swollen sinuses, etc. I was disappointed to learn that that flu shots only help in about 50 percent of cases where the person is dealing with a chronic disease (my chronic conditions include systemic scleroderma, Raynaud’s, Graves Disease, fibromyalgia, pulmonary hypertension, & enlarged heart)or is past 60 years of age. Not only was the doctor concerned about my current health status, he was also concerned that I might get pneumonia and stressed that I continue with my scheduled pulmonary specialist appointment in the next two days. My doctor gave me a prescription for Tamiflu and sent me home. For the next several hours, I had little or no relief of my symptoms. Today I asked my husband to pick up some juice so that I could stay hydrated. When he came home, he had purchased a jug of Resveratrol Juice–I was not aware that this product was on the market. After drinking three glasses of the juice today, I noticed SIGNIFICANT overall improvement in my symptoms and energy level, and I would even go so far as to say that I feel 100 percent improvement. Since there is no cure for Scleroderma, I decided to look up resveratrol on the Internet to see if there was a link to inflammary diseases. It was then that I was surprised to find that it is being studied for its ability to prevent the flu. But for me, although I already had the flu, it was better than the prescribed medication in eliminating my symptoms. I am sending my husband back to the store for more more jugs of resveratrol!!! I will continue to drink the juice, as I feel it will continue to benefit my health in many other ways.

  4. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Great comment about the benefits of resveratrol!

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